I wrote this blog a few months ago but somehow never published it here until a chance conversation today helped me recall this gem of a story.
This is how it goes:
There are many variations of this ancient parable. The moral of the story though, always stays the same. Come closer, make yourselves comfortable and take a seat; I would like to share this story with you.
Once upon a time Snake wanted to travel to the opposite side of a great river. He was however unable to swim so he asked Duck to carry him on his back across the river.
Oh no, said Duck. Bad idea. You are a snake and you bite and kill your prey. If I carry you on my back I will be killed.
Oh No! Said Snake in return. Yes it is true, I am a venomous snake but what would I achieve by biting you? If I bite you, none of us will get to the other side of the river. Indeed biting you would be a foolish thing to do; besides you would be doing me a great favor and for that I would be most grateful. I give you my word, I shall not bite.
Duck considered the wisdom of Snake's words and agreed that even a venomous snake would not profit from killing his very own vehicle across the river and thereby threaten his own survival. Finally, because Snake gave his word, duck put her instincts aside and consented.
Halfway across the river, while navigating the treacherous rapids, Duck felt an incredibly painful sting and realized that she had been bitten. Oh Snake! she called out sadly and weakly, for she was dying. Why have you done this dreadful thing? You gave your word and I kept my part of the bargain. Now your life and mine will be forfeit because of you!
Snake replied sadly, Yes I know. And I am sorry; But you see,
I am a snake.
It is in my nature as a snake to bite everything; even the very hands outstretched in brotherhood to help me.
So what is the moral of this story? What would you have done?
Was Duck a fool? Was Snake at fault?
You tell me.